We Don’t Want to Die Poor: That's How Creatives Feel About Pending Copyright Changes

February 3, 2020

An impending move by the US to end some international trade preferences will inflict major damage on South Africa’s economy and creative industries, including publishing. The US is annoyed by the pending Copyright Amendment Bill, which it perceives will threaten the intellectual property of its creative industries, including authors, musicians and filmmakers. Its proposed trade retaliation could block many South African products now allowed into the US without duties under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). On the face of it, it looks like another case of US government and industry bullying South Africa. Maybe. But the irony is that South African creative industries face the biggest losses from the government’s proposed amendments to copyright protection.  Artists, writers and musicians stand to lose significant income if laws are changed, while Big Tech will be the big winner.